Winter Retreat Blog Series: Winter Self-Care & Ayurveda with Suzanne!

Warm oil

Self-care is more than just a buzz word. It is a way of life. Pair it with the ancient wisdom of ayurveda and we start talking about how to create daily routines to balance our health and wellness. According to Dr. Vasant Lad of the Ayurvedic Institute a daily routine is “absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind, and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in one’s constitution. It also regularizes a person’s biological clock, aids digestion, absorption, assimilation, and generate self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.”

Who doesn’t want that? Am I right?

And yet, how hard does it seem for us to carve out some time for dinacharya (daily routines) that are intentional and that hold space for us to develop discipline around our actions? How often do we feel like we are first responders and operating in crisis mode instead of setting up the day in a way that allows for your mind-body-spirit to be supported and centered. Sometimes it may seem like too much to tackle, but start where you are. For those of coming to the retreat, you are in luck because Suzanne is teaching a session about what self-care rituals can support you through the winter and many years to come!

In particular she will be teaching about ayurvedic oil massage which is called Abhyanga or self-massage. Let’s just say I have experienced both a massage with ayurvedic oils with Suzanne and have practiced on my own, and it is such an earthly and holy way to get in touch with your body and self, both physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Suzanne brings so much wisdom and knowledge to this practice as she is a National Ayurvedic Medicine Association (NAMA) Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner. She focuses on preventive healthcare as well as heath promotion with a specific focus on diet and lifestyle through traditional Ayurvedic medical science principles and practices. She has gone through a minimum of 1500 hours of training in this area and also brings all her bodywork experience to the table.

We are so delighted that she will share in this practice with us, and we are grateful she is making room in her schedule for this time of rest and rejuvenation at the Christine Center.

Suzanne and I connected only 2 years ago when I was looking for a local yoga teaching job. She had just left her weekly teaching career to go more full-time with bodywork and further her studies. She linked me up to Just For Me Spa in Stillwater where I taught for a season while I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. From there we started talking. It turns out the office that I was offering herbal consultations out of was her old space! Right away we had an instant connection.

In these two short years, which feels like a lifetime, Suzanne and I became friends and I’ve always felt like she is pioneering the path ahead of me. As she is currently deepening her work in the artistic realm, I, too, feel this pull in that direction and have no doubt when the time is right I will follow. Suzanne also has a background in writing, I have a background in writing. She went through herbal studies, I went through herbal studies. Do you get my point?

Suzanne also has a heart for the community and making yoga accessible to all people. She approached me late this summer about bringing our first donation based, community yoga class to our studio. She was just starting her second master’s program so she agreed to do it for this first quarter to shake things up a bit and try a new model. A truly selfless and generous person, as well as a person who is not trying to commodify yoga into a business, I appreciate her spirit and the integrity she brings to her work.

I hope you, too, will be able to meet her at our 3rd Annual Winter Yoga & Meditation Retreat. This is Suzanne’s first time joining us and I couldn’t be more grateful and excited for all of us.

Towels & Self Care

At the retreat: Suzanne will offer an evening session on Winter Self-Care through the lens of Ayurveda on Friday. She will teach abhyanga massage as well as share about marma therapy which cleanses blocked energy in the body through applying touch to different marma points on the body. This session will include the use of 3 luxurious herbal applications to help relax and calm the nervous system. Please make sure you pack 2-3 old towels you don’t mind getting oily, some loose shorts and a t-shirt that can get oily and bring a small little mason jar to take home a little oil with you…if you have any left over! Suzanne will also teach an early morning yoga class on Sunday and will be available for a select number of Relaxation Massages during the retreat. Please contact for booking availability.